Monday, December 5, 2011

Essex County 12/3

 Karin and I drove up to West Newbury, Salisbury and Rowely on Saturday 12/3. The first stop was the Cherry Hill Reservoir area. The Cassin's Kingbird, that has been frequenting the reservoir area, was the first target. Upon arrival five birders were seen across the wet field, each busy looking through their optics in the same direction. A certain sign the target bird was currently in view, after a quick dash across the field I was afforded nice views of the bird.

Best of the Cassin's Kingbird, it was about 100 meters away, note the gray breast and white throat/chin area.
On the water was a drake Canvasback, which showed nicely along with several Ruddy Ducks, Common Mergansers, a few Buffleheads and Common Goldeneye.
A handsome Canvasback, it seems this species' numbers in Massachusetts, have declined in recent years.
On the way home we "swung" through Rowely and were fortunate the previously reported Sandhill Cranes were in view. The pair stayed in close proximety to each other, strutting through shallow water of a wetland right off rte 1A.
Sandhill Crane sightings have increased in recent years, with a pair recently breeding in western Massachusett and more than one pair breeding in Maine, seems I recall of breedig season reports from New Hampshire or Vermont (or both).

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